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SAGA (Kyodo) The three kanji for Arita ware, a representative Japanese porcelain produced in Arita, Saga Prefecture, were found registered as a trademark in China, embarrassing local officials and the ceramics industry, prefectural officials said Monday.

According to the prefectural government, a Chinese individual who sells tableware applied to China’s Trademark Office in November 2002 and was awarded a 10-year registration in November 2004.

Arita learned of the registration when officials checked the Trademark Office’s Internet home page to prepare for an exhibition of Saga products to be held at a Shanghai department store starting in late September.

Because the Japanese side can’t use the characters — “you tian shao” — in pinyin reading, it will use other names, including five kanji reading “Made in Arita, Japan,” or “Arita-Ceramics-Japan” in Roman letters at the exhibition.

Hidenori Tanaka, a strategy adviser for Arita City Hall, said officials will apply to the Chinese office for registration after the current registration expires or register with a new English description.

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